NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Plan To ‘Aggressively Pursue’ Hassan Whiteside

As the NBA free agency approaches, there has been a lot of speculation about which players will make a move from their current team. According to the current NBA rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers are taking this opportunity to revamp their roster and strengthen their team as they rebuild post-Kobe Bryant. As part of that rebuilding effort, the Lakers are planning to “aggressively pursue” Hassan Whiteside according to ESPN.

If the Lakers want Whiteside, they’re going to have to compete for him with his current team, the Miami Heat. “More than likely, players out there in free agency, our No. 1 priority is Hassan Whiteside,” Heat president Pat Riley said at the end of the season. “He’s 26 years old. He’s a game changer.”

The Lakers and the Heat aren’t the only NBA teams that are lining up with plans to persuade Whiteside to come to their team. The Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trailblazers have also made it known that they’d like a meeting with the young 7-foot tall center.

If the NBA rumors prove true and the Los Angeles Lakers are able to acquire Hassan Whiteside, some fans think he may be the next Shaq. It’s possible that Whiteside may be swayed by the Lakers’ rebuild because they have a young, promising core and he could become a part of that. Not to mention that the Los Angeles Lakers have plenty of cap space and can afford to add another max contract player to complement Whiteside if he opted to join the team. The Lakers reportedly have $60 million in cap space to use in their favor as they work to bring more talent to the historically dominant team.

Hassan Whiteside is the No. 2 player going into NBA free agency this year behind Kevin Durant. The Lakers reportedly also have their eyes on Durant and want to build as solid of a team as possible now that they are entering their post-Kobe Bryant era. If they are able to land both Whiteside and Durant, it could easily change the entire landscape for the Western Conference going into the 2016-17 season.

In the event that the Lakers can’t land Hassan Whiteside, NBA rumors also suggest that they would be interested in speaking with Al Horford instead. It has been said that if the Lakers can land either of these free agency beasts, they can consider their offseason recruitment efforts to be a success.

There were reports that the Lakers would also be pursuing DeMar DeRozan during free agency and fans already considered it a done deal for the Compton native to come play for his home team. It turns out that the Lakers might not be so hot on DeRozan, opting to go after other NBA superstars instead according to Lakers Nation. DeRozan is no longer needed after the Lakers picked up Brandon Ingram as the number two pick overall in the NBA Draft.

No matter where Hassan Whiteside goes during the NBA free agency kicking off on July 1, NBA rumors suggest that he will be getting a max contract. That is a huge step for the Miami Heat center who spent last season earning less than $1 million. Whiteside would be a huge asset to both D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. Not to mention that D’Angelo already made it clear that he’s a fan of Whiteside.

Silver Screen and Roll reported that the Miami Heat are in a position to offer up the most money to Hassan Whiteside. The Los Angeles Lakers are also in a position to entice Whiteside, though, according to the NBA rumors, and it’s looking very promising that he might be making a move to the other coast to play for them.

[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]

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